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The most popular VOIP product could soon find its way onto a website so that native apps are no longer needed. Before we get too excited, let's start with the traditional rumor warnings: this is a rumor and analysis from a Microsoft job posting, it may never come to fruition. Now with that completed, let's move on.
The job posting by Microsoft seems to indicate that they plan to bring Skype to your web browser. All of this is on the heels of Microsoft's acquisition of Skype. The job posting, seen here, is looking for "passionate, team-oriented and self-motivated developers to help us bring Skype experience on to the Web."
Right now, if they were to bring strictly the messaging portion to the web, they would be entering some crowded territory. FaceBook, Yahoo, and others already offer instant messaging without any sort of native client. If they bring the video chat along for the ride, then the competition thins out. Either way, it's an exciting prospect that Skype could soon be used without a native client.
It seems like just yesterday that I was updating my router from b to g spec to increase speeds. Then n came along and made me upgrade again. It hasn't even been around that long, yet Qualcomm and Broadcom would like to replace it with a new spec dubbed 802.11ac. The new spec will only operate on the 5GHz band to avoid interference.
The new standard is expected to debut late this year or early 2013. Because of the lack of 2.4GHz, the range is shortened, so the spec is including something called beam-forming technology. This allows the device to figure out where the other devices are located and broadcast that direction only.
Additionally, the 5GHz band has more channels available for use. The channels are now 80MHz wide rather than the 40MHz. Furthermore, each spatial stream has a theoretical bandwidth of 433 mbps per spatial stream versus only 150 mbps on -n. The number of spatial streams is being increased from 3 to 8 which will further increase bandwidth.
Early devices will only have 2 or 3 antennas meaning bandwidth of 866 mbps or 1.3 gbps in theory. In reality, this should equate to a third or half of the bandwidth which is still a good amount more than today's spec. Routers and devices using it should be available for the holiday shopping season with the certification program starting in early 2013.
It seems like everything is connected to the internet these days, but have you ever stopped and asked yourself what the implications of this is on your daily life? Sure, it provides convenience, but at what cost? All of these internet connected devices are able to collect information on where you are and what you're doing at the moment and use that information to generate a pretty solid schedule of your daily life.
But none of this should be of worry to you, right? But what if you become a person of interest of any of the many spy agencies? Imagine if your a person of interest and you decide to adjust your internet connected lights at home. As soon as you fire up your app, it could be sending data that contains your location and a timestamp which could easily allow a spy to follow you.
Direct from the Google Fiber Blog is news that they've starting laying the fiber for their 1Gbps Internet backbone. Google will be packing their bags and bringing thousands of miles of cables and connecting two cities together with a 1Gbps backbone.
The two cities? Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. Google have said that each cable contains "many thin glass fibers, each about the width of a human hair." Google will take these cables and weave them into a fiber backbone, which is a completely new high-speed infrastructure that will catapult Kansas Citians' data at more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today.
Google have said as soon as the infrastructure is complete they'll be connecting Google Fiber into the homes across Kansas City.
So, if you're a Kansas-based Internet user, you should be just a little bit excited right about now. Your Internet speed is going bye-bye.
CES 2012: AMD, you funny. Thunderbolt has been here for nearly twelve months now, and at CES, AMD unveiled a concept they call Lightning Bolt. For one, I love how they've kept the name virtually identical to Thunderbolt, and secondly, how long until Intel or Apple release something called Spaedon or Maedon or something to that affect, you know what I mean.
What is AMD's Lightning Bolt capable of? It can deliver USB 3.0, DisplayPort and Power over a single cable with miniDisplayPort connectors. It's designed to be simple, and affordable. For notebooks, there is a mux, which can combine power, DisplayPort and USB 3.0 into a single DisplayPort-like cable. The other end of the cable would connect to a Lightning Bolt breakout box that would provide the three connectors: USB 3.0, DisplayPort and Power ports.
The cable is a standard mini-DP cable, with changes to two of the pins. AMD's goal is to aim for affordable, single-cable docking stations for notebooks. AMD says that the cost of the mux and associated components on the notebook side would be just, one dollar. Eventually, the mux will be built into the notebook, and you'd just see a mini-DP interface with a little symbol that would indicate Lightning Bolt.
Telstra have just unveiled the details of a new "white label" 3G mobile service that they plan to sell to telco customers in a bid to boost its dropping wholesale revenues. While they'll offer access to their 3G network, Telstra keep the keys to their full Next G package, where it won't let rivals access it.
Telstra's 3G wholesale product will cover 97-perent of the population and sport typical download speeds of between 550Kbps to 3Mbps. The new wholesale plan will rollout in two phases, the first will roll out to offer post-paid-only services, while the second one which is planned for late-2012 will provide resellers with a fully fledged white label mobile service. This will le them offer pre-paid, post-paid, and wireless broadband services.
By not offering full speeds on the white label service, they stop cannibalisation of their superior Next G products, this protects their premium product lineup. Telstra have said:
This is a competitive and high quality product which delivers great coverage and speed to our wholesale customers. We believe it is a competitive 3G offering in the wholesale market.
CES 2012: Intel's upcoming 22nm die shrink of Sandy Bridge, dubbed, Ivy Bridge has been confirmed to bring support for Near Field Communication (NFC). Intel's Moole Eden even went as far as demoing a transaction using a laptop and PayPass-enabled MasterCard.
Not only was the confirmation of NFC support for Ivy Bridge discussed, shown on-stage was a demo running DirectX 11 on the upcoming Ivy Bridge tech. Intel showed off the DirectX 11 capabilities of Ivy Bridge's HD Graphics 2500 GPU by showing off F1 2011. But, Eden cheated. He pressed play on a pre-rendered video in VLC.
In the clip above, you can clearly see that the VLC control panel pops up and the car continues to drive itself even when Eden leaves the steering wheel. Eden even stated, in front of press and financial analysts, that the demo was running live from an Ivy Bridge chip. Since the demo, Intel issued an official statement, admitting that Eden used a video "for expediency".
All is well though, as AnandTech saw an actual, live demonstration of F1 2011 running on an Ivy Bridge GPU and has said that it runs just fine, as the video below shows:
This is kind of out of the norm, but Officeworks are now offering free in-store Wi-Fi Internet access to all of its customers. The new offer has been rolled out to all Officeworks stores across Australia.
The service does have restrictions, where it blocks illegal content, and has a time limit for all logins to enable multiple customers to get connected without overclogging their network. In order to access the free Wi-Fi, you'll also need to agree to a terms and service in your device's browser every time you connect.
I doubt this will attract customers to their store, but it could be a move like Amazon have used recently. Where they will offer deals in the store if you use their apps for price comparison, etc. Officeworks are definitely thinking outside the square with free Wi-Fi. What next, coffee?
Hackers want to escape Web censorship, plan to launch their own satellite into space and create a new Internet
With the on-going SOPA crap that the old fogies in the Government somehow think is a good idea, a team of hackers plan to launch their own communication satellite into space. The plans were detailed at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin.
The Hackerspace Global Grid (HGG) want to send at least one satellite into low orbit to communicate with various ground stations, creating an independent network. Activist Nick Farr has said:
The first goal is an uncensorable Internet in space. Let's take the Internet out of the control of terrestrial entities.
The team expect to have no less than three prototype ground stations deployed in the first half of this year, with future devices to be produced and sold on a non-profit model. Estimated costs for these ground stations will be about $130 USD. HGG participant, Armin Bauer, says:
It's kind of a reverse GPS. GPS uses satellites to calculate where we are, and this tells us where the satellites are. We would use GPS coordinates but also improve on them by using fixed sites in precisely-known locations.
Intel have reportedly notified their partners that they will "fully release" Thunderbolt technology in April of next year. Intel are said to be preparing to launch Thunderbolt-supported motherboards, notebooks and desktop PCs at that time.
Intel and Apple originally partnered on Thunderbolt which became a standard across Apple's MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini and iMac lines. The cost of Thunderbolt technology is said to drop in the second half of 2012, which will allow for much more market penetration.
Apple may offer Thunderbolt-equipped goods, but the first Thunderbolt products have been limited to the relatively high-end market. Widespread adoption of Thunderbolt should help accessory makers for not just the PC, but the Mac market. Intel have always said that they see USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt as complementary technologies and have plans to support both in their motherboards in 2012.